The Not Quite Adventures of a Professional Archaeologist and Aspiring Curmudgeon

Monday, December 19, 2011

Virus, Looters, and Antiques, Oh My!

So, I had all of the fieldwork in the last month and a half or so, but figured that, now that it was done, I'd be able to get back to a normal blogging schedule. 

And then my computer got hit with a particularly nasty rootkit virus, which after a week-long battle and the failure of multiple anti-malware programs I finally took to someone who actually knows what they are doing, and will therefore be without my computer for most of the next few days.  So, I may not be blogging as per normal.  I'm sure everyone is so sorely disappointed.


Quick story, though - yesterday, Kaylia and I went to take care of the last of the Christmas shopping*.  We ended up in old town Clovis, which, as far as I can tell, as a five-block area consisting entirely of antique shops and Italian restaurants.  Anyway, in one of the antique shops, we found a large collection of flaked stone tools and groundstone tools (including an unusual quartz mano) in a glass display case.  Not telling the owner who I was or what I do, I asked him about the tools, and he replied that he used to be a rancher and that all of these tools came from his ranch.  He then went on to tell me about digging them out of sites that he was sure would yield stuff.  After a few minutes, I mentioned that I was an archaeologist, and he continued to go on about the virtues of digging into sites and just looking for "the good stuff."

As we left, Kaylia asked me why I was looking annoyed and perturbed.  I told her about my conversation with the shop owner, and expressed that after a bit, I had really wished he'd stopped talking.  He appeared to not know that he was actually destroying sites more than recovering artifacts, and that his lack of documentation made the artifacts less interesting to me, as I had no idea where they came from or what they meant.  He just kept going on, with me getting more annoyed and disheartened as he continued. 

Oh well.

On the up-side, I then got to go home and deal with a rootkit virus.

*If you were at all annoyed at an atheist celebrating Christmas, then work to get it removed as a federal holiday.  As long as our institutions are shut down and we are therefore forced to observe it, we're going to have fun with it, and there ain't nothin' you can do about it.


Lynn said...

I'm an atheist & I celebrate Christmas in my own, secular way... I even say Merry Christmas. Sometimes I sing Christmas carols.

If it bothers someone, too bad.

and bummer about the artifacts... too many people are ignorant about such things. I read your blog so I know better.

Anthroslug said...

It's sort of a weird thing - the "War on Christmas" contingent don't want anyone to sit it out or to celebrate anything other than Christmas, but then they get worked up when someone who isn't Christian observes it in their own way.

Of course, they also are the ones who are convinced that Christians are being persecuted in the U.S., so I don't give their opinions any particular weight.